An Earthling’s Guide to Black Holes

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Welcome, earthlings, to the place of no return — a region in space where the gravitational pull is so strong, not even light can escape it. This is a black hole.

It’s ok to feel lost here. Even Einstein — whose Theory of General Relativity made it possible to conceive of such a place — thought the concept was too bizarre to exist. But Einstein was wrong, and here you are.

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Image: NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured a high energy blast, likely a black hole eating, at the center of a galaxy. Credit – NASA

The black hole is a hungry beast.

It swallows up everything too close, too slow or too small to fight its gravitational force — even light. With every planet, gas, star or bit of mass consumed, the black hole grows.

At the edge of a black hole, its event horizon, is the point of no return. Stay far away from the event horizon, because that’s where the hole pulls in light. And nothing is faster than light. At the event horizon, everything enters the black hole.

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